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The People and Technology Horizon (PATH) group at Saint Louis University is a multidisciplinary group of researchers with a shared interest in rethinking technology for emerging and contemporary communication ecologies.


PATH Research

Technological advancements have impacted almost every facet of life as we know it. Our environment is replete with technologies that entertain, inform, and connect us. This deep inter-connection means that we can no longer design and create new technologies without a deep understanding of human interaction, and we can no longer study human communication without a deep understanding of the affordances and limitations of technology.

Treating these two domains as separate has stifled innovation and led to numerous unintended consequences — such as the release of designs that are unnecessarily restrictive, and at times, even counterproductive. We experience the outcome of this disconnected design process today — often feeling frustrated and fatigued with our technologies and wishing things were just “easier.” 

SLU's People and Technology Horizon group aims to bridge the gap between humans and technology. Through deep, multi-disciplinary research collaborations, PATH integrates cutting-edge findings from linguistics and anthropology to engineer next-generation technologies that capture, facilitate, and augment human potential to meet the demands of the day. We co-create and collaborate with community partners, with an intentional focus on delivering intuitive, impactful designs rooted within a community’s existing ecology.

PATH's unique research approach creates team-based, problem-centered learning opportunities for students across STEM and social science fields at SLU, preparing them for careers in industry and research, and establishing SLU as a distinguished center for socially engaged design.

A Big Idea

The origins of PATH at Saint Louis University lie in an internal Big Ideas competition to define University-wide strategic research priorities.

SLU’s ability to invest in this research was greatly enhanced in 2018 when Dr. Jeanne and Mr. Rex Sinquefield made a historic $50 million gift that established the Saint Louis University Research Institute to accelerate research growth at the University.

Learn More About the Big Ideas Competition

The PATH Team

Interdisciplinary collaborations are at the core of PATH. From engineering to computer science to linguistic anthropology, PATH brings together researchers and scholars from a wide array of disciplines.

Jenna Gorlewicz's headshot where she is staring straight at the camera smiling and has her arms crossed in front of her.

Jenna Gorlewicz, Ph.D.

Saint Louis University
Associate Dean of Research and Innovation
Director, PATH
About Dr. Gorlewicz's Research

Flavio Esposito's headshot where is is looking to the left and smiling.

Flavio Esposito, Ph.D.

Saint Louis University
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Co-Founder, PATH
About Dr. Esposito's Research

A white woman with shoulder-length brown hair and glasses. Her smile is friendly, but not so friendly that you would stop by her office without an appointment.

Terra Edwards, Ph.D.

University of Chicago
Assistant Professor, Comparative Human Development
Co-Founder, PATH
About Dr. Edwards' Research